Lawyers argue that Banco de Fomento may be important in the recovery of the economy

JE celebrates its fourth anniversary on September 16th. To mark the occasion, we asked 33 leaders (from the areas of economics, politics and society) for recipes that can help the country out of an unexpected crisis. Read here the texts of Bernardo Ayala and Antonio Villacampa, managing partners of Uría Menandez - Proença de Carvalho, Paulo Câmara, managing partner of Sérvulo, Duarte de Athayde, managing partner of Abreu Advogados and Domingos Cruz, managing partner of CCA.

 

Bernardo Ayala, managing partner of Uría Menandez - Proença de Carvalho

Antonio Villacampa, managing partner of Uría Menandez - Proença de Carvalho

In the short term, Portugal needs to recover the economy and protect employment, and ensure, in the medium and long term, the transformation of the Portuguese economy, streamlining processes and improving competitiveness, making it more digital, more innovative and capable of competing with European and global scale.

In the current environment of great economic uncertainty, we need legal and fiscal security more than ever; efficient and effective justice at the service of rights and economic and social development. Reducing the times of economic and tax justice is fundamental, so, despite the improvements registered in recent years, it is necessary to significantly streamline and simplify the management of judicial processes, as well as to encourage the use of alternative means of dispute resolution in Portugal.

 

Paulo Câmara, managing partner of Sérvulo

The current period requires a different positioning for Portuguese companies. The moment is for a new beginning: we are facing “the great reset”, as the President of the Word Economic Forum, Klaus Schwaub, rightly indicated. It is important to rethink the strategy, the governance structure, the financing, the relationship with the environment and the stakeholders from scratch. With regard to strategy, it is necessary to develop ways of resuming a winning dynamic in the export of products and services, through an inevitably more digitalized relationship with customers and partners, but which does not mean a dehumanization of commercial relations: trust remains a factor- key to business success.

In terms of corporate governance, it is time to invest in a more inclusive structure that implies clarifying the purpose of each company, in order to make its reason for being, its values ​​and its priorities visible to its shareholders, customers and stakeholders , in the short, medium and long term. And this is not a zero-sum game: I believe that the economic recovery will reward all companies whose purpose involves greater ethical, environmental and social responsibility. In this context, what should be the role of the State? Reduce administrative procedures, lighten the regulatory burden whenever excessive, simplify taxation, comply with your commitments to suppliers, transparently manage future European financial resources, support the decarbonisation of the economy, facilitate innovation, be exemplary in ethical conduct and in defense of the Nation's reputation.

 

Duarte de Athayde, managing partner of Abreu Advogados

It is not possible to predict how long the pandemic situation will remain with us and how it will evolve, which naturally affects any judgment of the prognosis of economic recovery. In the coming years, Portugal will receive various support from European funds: in addition to the 15,3 billion non-repayable transfers, 29,8 billion more will come in subsidies from the EU budget for 2021/27. In a crisis situation such as the one we are experiencing, we must necessarily have more direct intervention by the State in operational management and not only in the strategic definition of business activity.

As such, there are some aspects that we believe to be key to the economic recovery, privileging the role and state responsibility in the real economy. Banco Português de Fomento (BPF), if well governed, could be an important tool for promoting the competitiveness of national companies. The digitization of traditional banking, with the lifting of regulatory barriers, may also play an important role. The digitization of State services that can be a unique opportunity. Support to banks in easing regulatory requirements so that it continues to play its role in the real economy. The creation of support for the capitalization of companies, the bet on the infrastructure network, the promotion of exports, the relief of the tax burden, the introduction of improvements in the management of lawsuits, the capture of foreign investment and finally a significant investment in the area of Cheers.

 

Cristina Bernardo

Domingos Cruz, managing partner of CCA

The Portuguese economy is not exactly a model in rapid and robust recoveries, for reasons well known. Still, in an exercise fraught with Pollyanna's syndrome, I would say that the Portuguese economy will be capable of a rapid and robust economic recovery if it manages to achieve two basic assumptions, one highly objective, the other purely subjective, ie, liquidity and confidence. Thus, on the one hand, cash liquidity in companies, especially in SMEs and technology companies. Not only to face cost structures, typically inelastic, but also to be able to invest in new markets and business areas. On the other hand, huge doses of confidence in entrepreneurs and decision-makers, which allows them to look at the current opportunities that the market provides and not be afraid to invest, in the certainty that tomorrow will be much better.

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